You can tell a lot about your play partner by how they react when accidents happen.
I had been warned no less than 2 dozen times by various sources that even with a great partner taking as many precautions as we both found necessary, negotiating and planning carefully with clear, honest communication that a time would come when something would transpire that I was totally not okay with – whether it was through a surprising negative reaction that I didn’t see coming or through sheer bad luck. An accident.
Life in general is a full of risk, even with mundane activities like driving to work or crossing the street. Some people are so uncomfortable with any level of risk, even what most of us accept without thinking, that they close themselves in their homes, limit their contact with the outside world. Others pursue risk as a hobby, get a rush off tempting fate, participate in extreme sports, perform social experiments.
BDSM play/kinky sex is one kind of extreme sports and comes with its own set of risks.
I knew this. I was more than well aware. But when it happened, I was totally unprepared for how it would make me feel.
We were hosting a private kink event at our home. I had just gotten my collar a week or so prior, and it was the first time I got to wear it in front of our friends/chosen family. I was sitting at Skyspook’s feet in the living room surrounded by everyone. The party was in full swing, and I was fully engaged in great conversation with some of my nearest and dearest. Skyspook playfully tugged on my collar pulling me back to him. All of a sudden, my legs went numb. I felt my consciousness slip away, like a stereo knob being turned down, my vision, my hearing, all my sensation. Suddenly, I was no longer in the living room. I was in a grove filled with fairy spirits – and a death metal bland blared at full volume. Oh god, I thought. I’m hallucinating. I thought it repeatedly. I’m hallucinating. I’m hallucinating… trying to will my mouth to move, to speak to the fairies. After what felt like a few minutes, the fairies faded, and I heard crowd noise fading in with my voice over it saying, “I’m hallucinating.” Apparently, I’d gone silent, stopped responding, was staring straight ahead and then started to state over and over that I was hallucinating. The whole episode lasted about 30 seconds – Skyspook had perhaps restricted/limited blood flow to the front of my neck for a mere 5 to 10 seconds. Those friends in attendance were sweet and nurturing. Skyspook apologized profusely, held me close, said he wouldn’t pull me by my collar in that fashion again, that we could look into getting a leash. I accepted his apology, told him we’d need to talk about what happened the following day once we were alone and I’d had time to process it.
We met the next night as promised after dinner. I cried buckets, confessing how scared the whole experience had made me and how ashamed I was for having been so scared, when ordinarily I’m so brave. Not only that, but I was scared after the accident, not during. I hadn’t been expecting that at all.
Even though I was really in no serious danger, losing blood flow and consciousness like that felt like a near death experience, as odd as it might sound. It was strange. In that moment, I couldn’t panic, even though there was the quiet intellectual thought of “holy shit, this is wrong.” None of the chemicals were adding up to panic. I just faded away. In some ways, having experienced this actually makes me less scared of death, knowing that fear is an active process, not a default, so when the lights dim, there’s a kind of calm to it.
Later on, I read in a guidebook that bondage at the front of the neck is a definite no-no. I read up a bit on the physiology of what happened and discussed some of my technical findings with Skyspook, who is also interested in such matters (we geek out on medical things; for me, it’s related to my profession, for him, an interest). Enough time has gone by that I’m comfortable speaking of it, that I can view it a bit more objectively and not be ashamed by my reaction to what happened.
And the way in which Skyspook has loved and supported me throughout, owning his mistake, analyzing what he could from the situation, and taking steps to ensure we do not have a similar problem in the future has turned the accident into something that has deepened my trust in him when it was something that very well could have destroyed it.